Sunday, 14 June 2009

Laporta: "They sign names, we have a team"

Barcelona gave an interview to American newspaper The New York Times.

Real has now spent over $150 million on two of the top players in the world in Cristiano Ronaldo and Kaká. Does it worry you to see them bulk up their squad, and are you concerned about inflated transfer fees?
These are not the market prices. The reason they are doing this is that they have emergencies, so they have to take risks. Barcelona is their rival, and we won everything last season and that made them anxious. Looking to next season, you know that they need to motivate their supporters. They are buying names with great talent, but to join the players to be a team will not be easy for them.

It will be a very interesting season: we have two different models. One model is you build a team with checks and money. And another model is the one we have, where we have a trajectory, where we are mature, and identified with our culture. Of the players we have in our first team, more than 50 percent come from our youth teams. We think that it makes our club sustainable.

Now do you feel there is pressure on you to go out and sign a big name, or do you look at your staff and figure that you already have the best player in the world in Lionel Messi?
That’s right, we already have the best player in the world, Messi. But the most important thing that we have is a team that works. Like I told you, they sign names, and we have a team.

But you could argue that your club has done the same in the past. Barca made a big push for David Beckham in 2003 and, when it didn’t work, you went out and signed Ronaldinho.
It was different. At the beginning of our mandate, we signed Ronaldinho. But we also incorporated Rafa Marquez for 5 million and the second season, in 2004, we incorporated Deco, Eto’o, Giuly, Edmilson, Belletti. We were creating a team. And the difference is that we create FIFA World Players and Ballons D’Or, and the other model buys FIFA World Players and Ballons D’Or. Ronaldinho was not any of those things yet when he came to Barcelona. We created a team for him to be the best.

You said that they have to take risks now by bringing in big names. But last season you took a risk in the other direction last season by hiring Pep Guardiola, who had never managed at the top level.
At the time, we were sure that this coach had a lot of experience at our club. Pep was a player. He was a reference. He was captain. He knew our club very well. At the same time, he was very talented and very intelligent about football. And he was brave. We knew him as a coach of our second team and we followed him for a season. So from our point of view, it was not as risky as people said.

When you first took over in 2003, you said you wanted to create a revolution in football. Now, entering your final year as president, can you look back and say you’ve done that?
We wanted to create a philosophy of attacking, attractive football — the origin is the Johan Cruyff philosophy. It’s a mix between Catalan and Dutch football, with some touches of Brazilian and Argentine. And we have made this is our philosophy about football.

You’re a club with a global reach, but you’re also very proud of your Catalan roots. Historically, the club has even been an emblem for Catalan separatists and, under Franco, it was the last bastion of Catalan culture. And you’ve made it a point of your tenure to remind people that the club is a fundamentally local symbol.
Of course, it’s the flag of our country. We are Catalans. This is our identity. When we say we are more than a club, it’s because it’s a club tied to our culture. And we’ve been global being Barca, the authentic Barca, with our language, with our players.

read the complete interview here

Read more:
The year of Laporta
Laporta: "We want to be global to be stronger"


John-Reid said...

I love it.

Scano814 said...

Honestly, Laporta is the man, without a doubt. He exudes class and is the best representative for this club. I will surely miss him. I was hurt by the shame he had to face with a vote of no confidence.

I heard that when we had to give madrid the guard of honor our players were planning on wearing white t-shirts for milito's recent injury or something...but the white t-shirt would also make them blend in with los blancos so it wouldnt be as embarassing for them and easy to immortalize in photos.

Laporta apparently ripped the entire team a new one int he dressing room and demanded them to take of the shits (with other expletives etc...)

The bottom line is through thick and thin Laporta has always behaved exemplary and protected the honors of this club and has made it a very recognizable figure in both humanitarian and sporting aspects.

Thanks Joan!!! I wish you could continue as president for a few more year...If his term was ensure another 3 years I bet pep would be willing to sign a contract for that long...

Ekar said...

Laporta may go down as the club's best president ever if we have a good season next season, no?

Mahi said...

Even if we don't have a good season next he can go down as the Barca's best president. During Laporta's time we won 2 CL's and 3 League.

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